As regular readers are surely aware, 2014 was a banner year for auto sales in the United States. When we last checked in last December, we were looking at a chart full of green as a fifth straight year of sales increases came to a close. From the looks of things, 2015 is shaping up to be more of the same.

Belying all the talk of recalls, death tolls and lawsuit claims, General Motors managed to come out on top of all major automaker conglomerates in January, posting an 18 percent gain when compared to the same month last year. The biggest driver of increased sales for GM came from pickups, with the automaker claiming a 42 percent sales gain in trucks last month. Included in those figures are 5,942 Chevy Colorado and 2,205 GMC Canyon midsizers. That figure is enough to put Chevy into second place, in front of the Nissan Frontier but behind the Toyota Tacoma, in the midsize truck segment.

Ford posted a 15.6 percent gain, largely on the strength of its trucks. The 2015 F-150, which was completely redesigned for the year, saw a boost of 17 percent in January. Toyota, Nissan and Honda each posted double-digit sales growth last month as well, and every auto company – though not all individual brands – doing business in the United States saw sales improve over the same period in 2014.

A few more noteworthy data points:
  • The seasonally adjusted annual rate for 2015 sits at around 16.7 million units, slightly above early forecasts.
  • Volkswagen sold 10 more vehicles in January of 2015 versus 2014, with the new Golf managing to offset declines of most other vehicles in their lineup.
  • Fiat Chrysler posted its 58th straight month of sales increases in January, with Jeep setting a record for the month.
  • Subaru's 24 percent increase marks its 38th consecutive month of sales gains.
As always, you're encouraged to peruse our past By The Numbers posts for all the sales data from previous months and years.

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